There is a new version of this tutorial available for CentOS 8.

CentOS 6.3 Samba Standalone Server With tdbsam Backend

This tutorial explains the installation of a Samba fileserver on CentOS 6.3 and how to configure it to share files over the SMB protocol as well as how to add users. Samba is configured as a standalone server, not as a domain controller. In the resulting setup, every user has his own home directory accessible via the SMB protocol and all users have a shared directory with read-/write access.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I'm using a CentOS 6.3 system here with the hostname and the IP address

Please make sure that SELinux is disabled as shown in chapter 6 of this tutorial: The Perfect Server - CentOS 6.3 x86_64 (Apache2, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3)


2 Installing Samba

Connect to your server on the shell and install the Samba packages:

yum install cups-libs samba samba-common

Edit the smb.conf file:

vi /etc/samba/smb.conf

Make sure you see the following lines in the [global] section:

# Backend to store user information in. New installations should
# use either tdbsam or ldapsam. smbpasswd is available for backwards
# compatibility. tdbsam requires no further configuration.

        security = user
        passdb backend = tdbsam

This enables Linux system users to log in to the Samba server.

Then create the system startup links for Samba and start it:

chkconfig --levels 235 smb on
/etc/init.d/smb start


3 Adding Samba Shares

Now I will add a share that is accessible by all users.

Create the directory for sharing the files and change the group to the users group:

mkdir -p /home/shares/allusers
chown -R root:users /home/shares/allusers/
chmod -R ug+rwx,o+rx-w /home/shares/allusers/

At the end of the file /etc/samba/smb.conf add the following lines:

vi /etc/samba/smb.conf
  comment = All Users
  path = /home/shares/allusers
  valid users = @users
  force group = users
  create mask = 0660
  directory mask = 0771
  writable = yes

If you want all users to be able to read and write to their home directories via Samba, add the following lines to /etc/samba/smb.conf (make sure you comment out or remove the other [homes] section in the smb.conf file!):

   comment = Home Directories
   browseable = no
   valid users = %S
   writable = yes
   create mask = 0700
   directory mask = 0700

Now we restart Samba:

/etc/init.d/smb restart


4 Adding And Managing Users

In this example, I will add a user named tom. You can add as many users as you need in the same way, just replace the username tom with the desired username in the commands.

useradd tom -m -G users

Set a password for tom in the Linux system user database. If the user tom should not be able to log into the Linux system, skip this step.

passwd tom

-> Enter the password for the new user.

Now add the user to the Samba user database:

smbpasswd -a tom

-> Enter the password for the new user.

Now you should be able to log in from your Windows workstation with the file explorer (address is \\ or \\\tom for tom's home directory) using the username tom and the chosen password and store files on the Linux server either in tom's home directory or in the public shared directory.


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By: Dan M.


Well-done tutorial! It actually isn't too hard to keep SELinux enabled when setting up and running Samba. For me, it was a matter of setting up my SELinux types correctly; see "Getting SELinux Types Right" here:

If you want to share home directories, there's an "samba_enable_home_dirs" SELinux boolean that would be relevant to you.

The best reference I've seen around SELinux and Samba is the "samba_selinux" man page. Dan Walsh of Red Hat has a snapshot of it on his blog:

By: Ron

Please make sure that SELinux is disabled:

Edit /etc/selinux/config and set SELINUX=disabled:



I could have saved myself over one week of aggravation if I stumbled upon this tutorial sooner. This one f***ing line was the source of ALL my headaches preventing Samba access from all my Windows machines. I thought it was addressed by shutting off the firewall, but no - SELinux was still set to enforced (and I do not need it for my internal home network).

In CentOS 5, SELinux settings appeared during install and as a tab in the GUI firewall utility. These settings were "in your face" - I knew to disable it for my home environment. The tab is gone in the firewall utility making it easy to forget that you need to adjust the script manually now. 

Thank you.